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Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit Installation - 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited

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How to Install the Roadmaster Direct-Connect Base Plate Kit on a 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited


Shane: Hi, I'm Shane with etrailer.com. Today we're going to be taking a look at, and I'm going to show you how to install Roadmaster's Direct-Connect base plate on our 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited. The base plate is designed to allow us to flat tow our vehicle behind our motorhome. It's going to connect directly to the chassis of the vehicle, to give us that solid mounting point between our vehicle and out motorhome. It's going to be one of five main components in a flat tow setup. The other four are going to be your braking system, your safety chains, your wiring, and your tow bar.A couple things that I really like about this base plate is the design of the safety chain loops.

Unlike some of the other ones, they sit flat, and they're going to stick out pretty far. These are vertical. You're going to have nice large openings for different size hooks. You can see they don't stick out too far, so it helps maintain a nice clean look on the front of the vehicle. Here we're going to have two pre-welded rods.

This is going to be for your wiring. You're going to have a bracket here that's welded on. This is going to be for your breakaway switch on your braking system.These large holes here, this is the other thing that I really like about it. It's going to have removable arms, so when we're not using our base plate, or we're not flat towing our vehicle, we can remove these arms and put them in a storage compartment. When we want to use it, it's going to have a spring loaded pin.

Slide it in, twist it until it locks into place. Hook up your tow bar and you're ready to go. When you want to take them out, pull that ring, twist it, and pull them out. It's going to have a nice black powder coat finish. It's going to resist any rust or corrosion.

It's designed to work with all Roadmaster tow bars that slide into a hitch. It is not designed to work with tow bars that are ball mounted.Now that we've taken a look at some of the features, let's show you how to get it installed. First thing we need to do, underneath our vehicle we need to remove this lower pan. We're going to have some push pin fasteners. We're going to have a few across the front, and we're going to have two up inside in the back. Flathead screwdriver, push it in between like that. We're just going to pry the center like that. You want to make sure you get the base with it.We need to make sure we're using red Loctite on all of our hardware. We're going to start with our longest two bolts. We're going to have two of them in our kit. Go ahead and put some red Loctite on there. Actually it's easier if you get all of your hardware out of your kit. Go ahead and put Loctite on all of your bolts, that way you don't have to worry about doing it each one that you put it. On that bolt you're going to put a 1/2" flat washer. You're going to see a hole right up here at the top on the inside. One thing I want to note is that hole should go all the way through. If it does not go through to the outside, you're going to drill the outside with a 1/2" drill bit.Once you have that hole, you're going to insert that bolt all the way through to the outside. Then you're going to put on the pipe spacer. We need install our side braces. You'll notice that there's kind of a bend here. You want this to face up, and you want this bend to face in. We're going to put on flat washer, lock washer, and a nut. We're only going to hand tighten it for now. While you're here, double check to make sure that these two holes are going to line up with these two holes. Once you know they're lining up, repeat the process on the other side.Now we'll install our main receiver brace. The two holes that are on the sides here, we're going to line it up with that top hole. We'll slide it up just like this. We're going to take 1/2" x 1 3/4" bolt flat washer. We're going to line up these two holes just like that. It might be a good idea for this step, this next step, to have an extra set of hands. You're going to take this nut plate, we're going to go right up through the bottom of our sub-frame. We need to thread it onto that bolt, but if you don't have one side done, this is going to be resting down. Your baseplate is going to be resting down. It might be easier if you have somebody push up on it. It takes the pressure off the bolt while you're turning it into that nut plate.For this bottom one, you may have to pull your bolt out a little bit, because the top nut plate bar is still in there. We'll just hand tighten that in for now, and then repeat that on the other side. For this section that comes on the bottom of our sub-frame, we're going to have a nut plate that looks like this. This sub-frame is actually hollow, so we're going to take this, we're going to put it inside. You want to make sure that the nut is facing up. Then we're going to line it up with that hole. We're going to take a 1/2" x 1 1/2" bolt, lock washer and washer, and we're going to go up through both our sub-frame and our base plate, into that nut plate. Then we're going to do that same thing on the other side.With a 19 mm socket we're going to tighten and then torque all of our hardware to the specifications in the instructions. Once you have everything tightened down, these two rods that are hanging out here, you can take a pair of pliers or a pair of cutters, and just break them off. Or you can bend them up inside the frame rail. Or the sub-frame rail there, just as long as they're not hanging out.Next thing we need to do is we're going to need to cut out our belly pan to fit around our base plate. You just want to follow the instructions, per their measurements. You can kind of see how I had it marked out for our two sides, then for our two rods for our wiring. I'm going to use a Dremel tool with a cutting blade. This is pretty thick plastic, so a utility knife might go through it. It might be tough, it might take a little bit, but a utility knife will work.Then once we have it cut out, if you used a Dremel tool with a cutting blade, just take a utility knife and run it along the edges to knock the burs off, clean it up a little bit. Then you want to test fit your panel, just to see if there's any other adjustments that need to be made. You can see right here this bar. This is for a breakaway switch. Where my cutout is, my rods will fit, but it's not quite wide enough to get it behind, or to get that to go through, so I'm going to have to cut this small section here just a little bit farther over. Once you've made all adjustments necessary, go ahead and reinstall your pan. That's going to complete our look at and installation on the Roadmaster Direct-Connect base plate.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
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Joshua S
Employee Andrew L
Video by:
Andrew L
Employee Zach D
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Zach D
Employee Jonathan Y
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Jonathan Y
Employee Michael B
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Michael B
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Kathleen M
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Kathleen M
Employee Dustin K
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Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Cole B
Installed by:
Cole B
Employee Randy B
Test Fit:
Randy B
Employee Jared G
Test Fit:
Jared G
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G
Employee Clayton O
Test Fit:
Clayton O

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